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Spaghetti dinner a success!

Seventy-Seven year old Helen Croden is a going concern when it comes to helping people. She has a wealth of some 40 plus years of experience, of mostly volunteered time using her gift of cooking- catering and organizational skills. Her unpaid humanitarian portfolio includes previously being a Sou Chef for the Salvation Army in both Rutland and Sutherland, Inn From the Cold, YMCA kids camp, Rutland, and the Scare Crow Festival. She had her own catering business in Edmonton before.

Croden is still full of energy at nearly eighty years of age, when most people, including myself, would have hung up the apron a long time ago, and at a much younger age, then donned some slippers instead. Not so with Croden though, she took on the Kingdom Project with the zeal of a Disciple. Pastor Cam Koronko of the Rutland Seventh Day Adventist Church gave her, along with 23 others, a crisp $100 bill to further God’s kingdom. He left it up to them to decide how to invest that money. Croden decided to help God’s Little Ones in the community through the Salvation Army’s Christmas Appeal.  Hence the idea of a Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser was born.

Croden went to such lengths as writing letters explaining her mission and personally delivered them to various grocery store chains, then followed up later. She went to Global Okanagan, Castanet and a City Counselor for advertising of the event, which was held on October 28 at the Salvation Army location on Sutherland Ave. Pastor Kim Burry graciously donated the use of their hall, kitchen, decorations and assisted with the meal serving, along with volunteers from Burry’s Salvation Army congregation and the Rutland SDA Church.

General Manager Kris Newson of The Old Spaghetti Factory was sought out by Croden for his advice on cooking noodles and he not only advised, but offered to cook the noodles and assist with serving of the meal. He brought along Sou Chef Michael and waitress Sherry Anne, who also volunteered their time and expertise. Kris (her angel in disguise) was great at training the volunteers for the event as well.

Shireen Prysunka assisted Croden in picking up groceries, prepped in kitchen, along with serving. Croden spent six hours making the yummy sauce, and said the recipe will be available upon request.

The following companies donated food;

Costco – $500 worth

Safeway - $100

Cobbs Bakery – Buns

Valerosa – Canned Tomatoes

Spaghetti Factory – Noodles

It didn’t come together until the Eleventh Hour, and was a nail biting experience, as advance ticket sales were meagre. She put the problem in Gods hands and He came through big time, when 160 hungry people showed up. From the $100 investment, Croden, with the help of many other unsung heroes, made $1000 in profit to benefit the Disadvantaged Families in our community through the Salvation Army’s program and thus advancing God’s Kingdom. “The smiles on the kids faces is my reward.” said Croden.

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